The motivated Bluejays of Creighton
Shayna Skokan is a third-year PharmD candidate at the Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions. The author would like to acknowledge first-year PharmD candidates Katie Sandquist and Marielle Wong for their assistance with the article.
Receiving the 2019–20 APhA–ASP Most Improved Chapter Award was a tremendous honor for our chapter. Not only did it show the hard work and creativity of our chapter leaders, but also the dedication and involvement of chapter members and advisors.
PCPs lead the way
We focused heavily on the implementation of new patient care events with Generation Rx, Operation Immunization, and OTC Medicine Safety. Generation Rx (now Operation Substance Use Disorders) Committee members used their creativity to design social media awareness campaigns that chapter members could share for National Drug Take Back Day and collaborated with another pharmacy organization, the Student College of Clinical Pharmacy, to host naloxone trainings for Creighton public safety officers.
Operation Immunization, with the help of pharmacy faculty, created two research posters focused on our chapter’s influenza vaccine clinics and presented the posters at the 2020 and 2021 APhA Annual Meetings. Additionally, we increased vaccine clinics by expanding to the dental school and other sites on campus to make the immunizations more accessible.
Our OTC Medicine Safety Committee increased its community outreach by bringing an interactive presentation on safety, storage, and disposal of OTC medicine to elementary schools in the Omaha area. Some of the tools that helped OTC Medicine Safety succeed included their faculty advisor, who helped cater the information to different age groups; dividing up the work among committee members; and simply reaching out to the community. Lastly, all of our patient care operations worked to make resources, such as created materials and documents, easily accessible for future operation chairs to improve the transition.
Significant pre-pharmacy interactions
We also focused on the expansion of relations with the university's Pre-Pharmacy Club. The 2019–2020 Pre-Pharmacy Club president attended our APhA–ASP executive team meetings, which allowed us to collaborate regarding ideas of how we could help each other. For example, the Pre-Pharmacy Club helped with Operation Immunization’s “Shoo the Flu” event by circulating flu shot posters and erecting tables and tents to advertise clinics on campus. The APhA–ASP Chapter also assisted by organizing a student panel that allowed pre-pharmacy students to learn more about pharmacy school, as well as an introduction to APhA membership.
We plan to continue building a strong connection with our pre-pharmacy students by maintaining our mentorship program that allows them to shadow a current student pharmacist. Another way we plan to connect our pre-pharmacy students with current student pharmacists is through social events such as game nights involving both Pre-Pharmacy Club and APhA–ASP members.
We appreciate our members
Last, but not least, our chapter increased student membership by 20% since 2017 and increased attendance at APhA meetings on both the regional and national level. We discovered new ways to appreciate our active members and incentivize students to attend meetings. None of this work could be done without the help of our national APhA team and resources. We are thankful for the improvement, we have enjoyed the recognition, and we know your chapter can do it, too!